Sub 1:30 Half Marathon 2021 Edition (Read 294 times)


Mother of Cats

    My intro/summary (now that it is 2021 here):


    Darkwave - female and 46 years old.  I'm in the part of Northern Virginia that is essentially Washington DC without the negatives of living in DC proper.  About 50% of my weekly mileage is run in DC or Maryland, not Virginia.


    I race pretty much everything from the mile (road only) to the marathon.  I avoid track races and I hate trails - I'm an asphalt/concrete princess.   I started running 11 years ago, at the age of 33, so I'm an adult onset runner.  My previous sport was horses - hunter-jumper to be exact.  If you want to see me riding at the age of 17, it's here.


    I train with a coach and a team (same coach for 9 years now, I think).  It's worked very well for me


    I have moderate-to-severe asthma (that's what they call it), am allergic to a whole slew of stuff, and have a bunch of auto-immune issues including Ulcerative Colitis.   I have not, as of yet, been diagnosed with hypochondria.  The asthma and allergies are managed fairly well with medication (all carefully checked to ensure it's allowed under WADA/USADA); I control the autoimmune/UC stuff mainly by lifestyle (diet, etc) and occasionally meds when things flare.   I'm also fun at parties.


    I'm injury prone and overtrain easily (possibly age, possibly autoimmune stuff) so a fair amount of my training is cross training (pool-running, swimming, yoga, weights), and I run my easy runs very slowly relative to my race paces.


    (I'm good with punctuation and grammar in general, but abuse parentheticals)


    I have a law degree and do ediscovery/workplace monitoring work for a large international corporation.  I telecommute full time and live very close to a track and an indoor pool - very convenient for training.  If you're wondering how I fit stuff in - that's how.


    I live with my boyfriend/partner of a decade plus and three cats, all defective (one has severe allergies, the other two are visually impaired).  A horse that is sound enough to live happily as a "pasture ornament" but can't be ridden completes our collection.  I also have a treadmill called Fluffy.


    PRs as of January 1, 2021:  Mile: 5:25 (2017); 5K: 18:51 (2017); 10K: 38:56 (20:17); 10M: 1:02:28 (2019); Half: 1:24:08 (2019); Full: 2:57:42 (2018).




    A brief summary of 2020 in running for me.  Started off targeting the Houston Half-Marathon (January) and One City Marathon (March).  Pulled my left hamstring two weeks before Houston, but managed to clear it up enough to run a decent half (1:25) if not what I had been hoping for.  As it turned out, that would be my best race of the year.


    I threw my SI joint out right before One City, and ended up having to drop out very early (mile 5).  As it turned out, my ligaments in that area were stretched out again, so I did some prolotherapy to fix those up.  Asked the doctor if my right ankle needed prolo also, since it seemed a bit unstable.  Nope - seemed fine.


    Got healthy with hopes of targeting some other spring races, but they all got shut down.  Things got tense with many of my normal running routes off limits so I rented a treadmill, placing in a room that my partner wanted to be a gaming room.


    Developed a weird pain on my left ankle/foot that ended up being an irritated sural nerve - pretty easy to clear up once we figured it out.


    Started training for a summer road mile.  Ended up pulling out when I pulled my left hamstring pretty badly.  That took several weeks to come back from.


    Started training for a fall marathon.  Tried to race another summer road mile but went off course.  Was feeling really exhausted and sluggish, so I got bloodwork done and confirmed that my folate (vitamin B9) levels were severely low.  Went on supplements.  Started perking up.


    Couldn't seem to keep my left hamstring healthy, so got MRIs of my back (since we thought it might be a nerve issue) and my right ankle (just because we were getting MRIs anyway).  Back came back clean; right ankle came back awful, with a posterior tibial tendon split in two and multiple torn ligaments.  Got PRP to heal the torn ligaments (we left the PTT alone since I now have two good parallel tendons on that side).  Started feeling better - the left hamstring issues were caused by right ankle instability.  Now starting to train seriously and consistently, doing small races as I am able.

    Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


    And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


    Aspiring Hobby Jogger

      I've been quite busy this week and away from the computer, but I'll get all the races up as soon as I can.

      Mark - How long have we been in these threads together and neither one of us realized we started running at the same time?? DD3 just turned 3 as well, so if we ever meet up perhaps the kiddos will get along.

      Flavio - "Lick a nail until it becomes a pin". That's freakin' hilarious.

      RP - First, I still want to refer to you as Brew. Second, good luck getting back to it. I have no doubt you'll "officially" crush a sub-20 while getting that pint glass, and likely follow up with a couple sub-3s so long as those two marathon actually run.

      Zebano - I've been enjoying the chess games, thanks for those. An ultra on that island does seem awesome. I'm kinda/sorta considering doing a fatass from the very tip of the Texas panhandle, though the Oklahoma panhandle, to a town barely in Kansas that would be about 42 miles since that actual race won't happen this year.

      Watson - Glad the elbow is doing well. Is the shoulder thing just healing slower by nature of what/where it is, or something else? In any case, I'm hoping you get that injury free year.

      DWave - Always good to see you back, particularly since I seem to always have a goal of making it to "DWave-level fast".
      I've been doing more and more nutrition research myself since discovering that my diet was naturally trending a very specific direction, so I'm curious as to what your diet looks like (not just with regards to the autoimmune business). I also just noticed that we seem to have somewhat familiar writing styles, including our (over)usage of parentheses and hyphens.



      Possibly amusing anecdote from my run this morning. I wake up to ~5" of fresh snow with more coming down and a big north wind. Quickly abandon my usual route due to the snow and decide to stick to running in the few sets of tire tracks that are in the road. See a van stuck near an intersection and decide to tell a police officer at a gas station on the other side of town (a whopping 1k-ish away) to see if he/she has a tow strap or can otherwise help. Meet the officer as she's coming out of the gas station and tell her the situation. She replies "We'll get to that later, but first, why are you out running in this?!"

      5k: 18:24 5/21 (solo track TT) │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:24:16 11/19 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


      Upcoming Races:


      10/2 - Wurst Race Half

      12/5 - California International Marathon



        Happy New Year, everyone!


        James, M58, Georgia, USA.  Married 23 years, 17-year-old son who will go to university in August, leaving us empty nesters.  I.  Ran xc & track for two years in high school until injuring a knee.  Ran once a week most of the time from 2003 until I retired in 2013 and had more time.  Because I’m injury-prone, I’ve built up very gradually from ridiculously low mileage to just low mileage.


        2014:    600

        2015:    694

        2016:    839 (joined this group on RWOL)

        2017: 1,336

        2018: 1,190 (missed 3 months injured)

        2019: 1,692

        2020: 1,900 (missed 6 weeks injured)


        As I’ve increased mileage, my workout times & race performances have gradually improved, though after this many years & at my age I may be plateauing.  The four halfs I’ve run since 2016 were all in the low 1:30s, and for the last three years I’ve been increasingly confident that I could break 1:30 if everything were to go right one day.  As for injuries, I have upper hamstring tenidnopathy and chronic knee trouble.  I’m managing the knee issues pretty well, but the hamstrings kept me out for significant periods in 2018 and 2020, and I may need to just forget about hills or hard speedwork.  Also, cold is my kryptonite, so it’s a good thing I live where I do and tolerate heat pretty well.


        These days, I’m still recovering from the hamstring flareup and taking short walk breaks after every easy mile or two, mostly on the treadmill.  I’m making progress every week, and if I go long enough, there’s some benefit even with the walk breaks.  For 2021, I’d like to get back to running normally, stay healthy, and average 40 mpw.  I think if I do that, I’ll have a chance to set a PR or get an 80% age-grade at some distance, and if all goes well, finally get my half time below 1:30.  If the hamstring heals quickly, I might aim for a late-April half, but October seems more likely, with a shorter race or two beforehand.


        Non-running 2021 goal:  Don’t get a haircut until after the mid-February one-year anniversary of my last one

        Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)

        2021 Goals:  Stay healthy, 40+ mpw, Half<1:30; PR or 80% age-grade at some distance

          Good to read all your biographies again.

          Darkwave that 1.25 last year is very impressive.

          Did I see a failed sub 20 5k today ? You know this means a Lady Gaga dress up for you right 


          Keen I see New Orleans played OKC yesterday at OKC.

          For once I was happy to see OKC lose 


          James i have a daughter at university. We miss her alot but its a good way for them to grow up fast and learn some life skills.

          50+ PBs -  

          5k 18.25 Tauranga Parkrun  Sept 20      81.97 % age grade

          10k TT 37.21 may 2nd 2021 strava run 82.51 % age grade

          Half marathon  1.23.30 may 21 80.11 % age grade

          " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

          Somewhere in between is about right "      



          Hot Weather Complainer

            Enjoying reading all the summaries too, plenty in there I'd forgotten about.  I've been a bit absent, to be honest I'm very worried and down about my knee.  I'd say the pain is about 1.5/10 with the occasional very sharp pain.  The worst pain is when walking or bending over.  My google research shows the symptoms closely match patellar femoral syndrome - runner's knee.  If this is the case the outlook for marathon training is bleak.  I'm doing what I can, plenty of ice, bought a patellar strap and knee support.  It feels the worst with little activity and particularly yesterday on the drive back from a short break on the West Coast.  So I need to stay active but avoid high impact and hope it clears up quickly.


            My biography, mostly from last year with some 2020 updates.


            I'm Steve, 44 years old.  I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to Christchurch as a kid.  Post-university I lived in quite a few places around the world, before landing in Christchurch again 4 years ago.  It's a great place to live (still slowly recovering after the devastating 2011 earthquake) and very good for running with parks, bike paths, trails in the surrounding hills and a good climate albeit a bit hot in summer (if I'm going to mention weather, it is compulsory that I complain about heat - I don't make the rules, I just follow them).


            I didn't run a lot at school, besides the compulsory cross country every year.  I played cricket and football (soccer) to a reasonable level up until around the age of 30.  I started running when I was 25 after an ex-girlfriend told me she'd run a half-marathon and I figured if she could do it, surely I could.  I'd also got a bit out of shape one winter when I couldn't play football due to travelling so I needed to sort that out.


            My first race was the Christchurch Half-Marathon in 2002 which I finished in 1:34.  I ran the same race a year later hoping to go sub 90, but blew up and really suffered for at least the last 5km.  I finished in 1:33 but I was losing time very quickly in that last 5km.  I returned a year later with a very good build up and ran to how I felt.  I was 40 seconds down with 5km left but flew home to go under 90 minutes by 17 seconds - I was a bit conservative about when to lift the pace after the pain of the previous year.


            The next decade was dominated by injuries before I finally went sub 90 again in 2016 (after adjusting my training with the help of a coach).  2017 and 2018 were both interrupted with niggles which stopped me getting back to where I wanted to be, missing out on another sub 90 by 29 seconds in 2017 and 2 mins 39 seconds in 2018, then 49 seconds in 2019.


            2020 was my most consistent year ever.  Looking back, I think my goal was to build consistency and break 90 for a half, and set a PB if possible.  Like most, 2020 didn't quite go to plan but I did build some serious consistency.


            To get my half PB, I planned to do a 10km race in early February (on grass mostly) to determine my fitness 3 months away from a goal race.  This was a tough day in very warm and windy conditions so I was happy with 42:23.  Then I planned the City to Surf 14km in mid-March with a goal of holding my targeted half pace and finish in under 60 mins, before having a crack at the Christchurch Half-Marathon on May 31.


            This all fell apart in the week of the City to Surf when that race was cancelled, followed soon after by the Christchurch Marathon.  I lost motivation for a week or 2 before deciding to target a time trial on May 31 anyway.  Training went really well and I felt I was in PB shape but fell off the pace from about 13-14km and finished in 1:31:51.  I don't know if the odd nature of the "race" and build up played a part but I felt that everything was in my favour.


            I missed the planned South Island Half with a cold and entered the Sri Chinmoy Half on September 13 which is 8 laps in Hagley Park, almost exactly the same course that I did my time trial on.  This time I started to fall away earlier and finished in 1:33:38.  Again I was at a loss although looking back I think the adventure race I did 2 weeks earlier played a part in not being rested enough.


            From there I entered the Queenstown Half which is a trail race - I didn't have too many expectations but was still disappointed to fall away again for 1:35:11, but this time the reasons were obvious - tough course and conditions.  I should have been more conservative in the first half and will learn that lesson if I go back.


            I've jumped into Marathon training for the Christchurch Marathon on April 11 and have a small niggle which hopefully clears up soon.  I did achieve consistency, like I never have before so I hope to put the base to good use.  My yearly totals show this:


            2020    3442.20km

            2019    2331.50km

            2018    2308.70km

            2017    2291.60km

            2016    2796.60km

            PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

            Recent Races:    Queenstown Half-Marathon (trail) November 21, 2020 1:35.11 Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51  Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49 

            Plan for 2021:  Christchurch Half-Marathon April 11 Went as planned - 1:38, Wellington Marathon June 27 POSTPONED - Probably October 10,  South Island Half-Marathon August 1, Queenstown Half-Marathon November 20


            Hot Weather Complainer

              piwi - I see Dave Parsons did 5400km in 2020 in an interrupted year with a few niggles!


              Here's a photo of about 9:30pm on New Years Eve - me and my partner capturing the sun going down on 2020 from the beach at Hokitika


              Me and my partner capturing the sun going down on 2020

              PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

              Recent Races:    Queenstown Half-Marathon (trail) November 21, 2020 1:35.11 Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51  Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49 

              Plan for 2021:  Christchurch Half-Marathon April 11 Went as planned - 1:38, Wellington Marathon June 27 POSTPONED - Probably October 10,  South Island Half-Marathon August 1, Queenstown Half-Marathon November 20

                Steve great photo. I hope your knee gets sorted soon.

                I have Dave on my strava now. He runs alot and its all at sub 4.30 km pace too.

                50+ PBs -  

                5k 18.25 Tauranga Parkrun  Sept 20      81.97 % age grade

                10k TT 37.21 may 2nd 2021 strava run 82.51 % age grade

                Half marathon  1.23.30 may 21 80.11 % age grade

                " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                Somewhere in between is about right "      


                Glute Force

                  Hi everyone - Happy 2021 to all.


                  My name is Fil/Mick and I turned 40 last year so am a master - same age as Flavio. Live about 3 1/2 hours north from where he roams i.e. in snowy Switzerland, Zurich.


                  Got into jogging while studying as it helped me focus better and more consistently. And then just jogged until 2017 when I completed my first half marathon. And then ran some more during that summer and then got injured and that story has been repeating. I have done 3 half marathons and my PB stands firmly at 1:45 so I don't think I will ever reach 90 minutes but my plan is to get sub 100 in 2021.


                  And I want to complete a marathon, potentially the one that wracked Rune (Amsterdam) in October.


                  My mileage is much lower than for most on here; this explains most of why I am so slow (1850km in 2020). I will need to invest a lot more effort if I want to run twice the distance of a half.


                  And I want to start strength training so Flavio por favor pls share your training regiment. Add me on Strava or allow me to add you as I think this does wonders for motivation.


                  I dream to visit Australia and New Zealand one day. I hope I can take a sabbatical one day to do that.


                  All the best to everyone!!!


                  Intl. correspondent

                    I was asleep early too, around 10pm, I find it a funny tradition to stay up until midnight then scream IT’S A NEW YEAR, when in reality it’s the same thing just a minute ahead in the calendar Big grin

                    I’m not fun at parties, I know.


                    RP - LOL at you for falling for that. I thankfully already know that the Kiwis are in the future, I frequently message them for lottery numbers.


                    Piwi - those are some fast 200s. It’s funny, when I was training for the 1500, I was running 100’s at the same pace as 200’s mostly, so I really lack in overall power and explosion.


                    Darkwave - I think Jack, Mark and you are the “local elites” of this thread. You bunch are certainly super fast. I’m mostly impressed by your mile time.


                    Keen - I can see you and Zeb are running in touch conditions. I’m feeling like a wimp for complaining about it when it only snowed 1 day here.


                    James - You’re having a consistent progress over the years and it’s been nice to follow that up.


                    Steve - that’s a great picture. I’m glad the year ended on a positive note and she got a job.


                    Mick - I do have you on Strava and you follow me too. Is old age getting to you? 

                    I’d recommend hiring a strength training coach if at all possible. You live in Switzerland, so it’s probably the same cost as a Big Mac for you.

                    That said, I’d start with some calisthenics training which requires minimum equipment.

                    The recommended routine from the subreddit bodyweightfitness is a great place to start.



                    me - Taking a day off today as history shows I do better taking the day before off. Weather forecast is 5 degrees with not much wind nor rain.

                    Hopefully humidity is not too high. Oh, that's about 41 degrees in freedom units.

                    I'm slightly lighter hovering a bit under 80kg on the Friday weigh in for the past 2 weeks, that could help a bit.

                    PRs: 5K 17:56.7 (2021) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:21:59 (2021)

                    Up next: 3 countries marathon - Oct 10th

                    Tool to generate Strava weekly

                      Mick good to have you back buddy 👍


                      Flavio good luck tomorrow. I think my 100m speed would be terrible too. I remember running a fun beach sprint against a whole lot of fat fathers ( about 30 ) a few years ago and I was literally near the back. I had run an18km run that morning though 


                      My week done, yes its Sunday here.

                      Bloody good week for me.

                      Cracked 80kms

                      Did 1st hill run for a while.

                      Did 1st sort of long run for a while.

                      Did 1st 200s in ages.

                      Did a 7km tempo


                      Weekly for period: From: 28/12/2020 To 03/01/2021

                      Date Name Distance
                      in km
                      Duration Avg Pace
                      per km
                      Elevation Gain
                      in m
                      28/12/2020 Nice and cool 😎 12.09 01:03:52 05:17 311
                      29/12/2020 Morning Run 10.01 00:54:44 05:28 11
                      30/12/2020 Beach and swim 8.00 00:40:46 05:06 18
                      31/12/2020 with 8x200m 10.16 00:50:04 04:56 18
                      01/01/2021 Average 20kms/day this year so far 😄 20.21 01:37:32 04:50 37
                      02/01/2021 Morning Run 12.20 01:06:49 05:29 13
                      03/01/2021 Morning Run with 7km tempo 10.27 00:45:24 04:25 0

                      Total distance: 82.95km

                      50+ PBs -  

                      5k 18.25 Tauranga Parkrun  Sept 20      81.97 % age grade

                      10k TT 37.21 may 2nd 2021 strava run 82.51 % age grade

                      Half marathon  1.23.30 may 21 80.11 % age grade

                      " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                      Somewhere in between is about right "      




                        Steve - Great picture.  Hope the knee improves.


                        Flavio - Good luck!


                        My rehab week was decent, with continued increases in total distance and length between walk breaks.  Glute seems to be about the same, maybe slightly better, but not ready for faster running.  The distance numbers may be overestimates since I don’t believe our apartment gym treadmill’s readings.  It says I’m taking 10-11-minutes/mile, but the effort feels like when I run 8:50ish miles in the park.  I’m just going by time & assuming I’m averaging about 9:05.  Regardless, the trend is in the right direction.  


                        Sun - about 9 miles treadmill up to 1.25-mile jogs w/0:45 walk breaks

                        Mon - 9 miles TM up to 1.5-mile jogs

                        Tues - 10 miles in park of 1-mile jogs @8:49 w/~1-minute walk breaks

                        Weds - off

                        Thurs - 10.5 miles TM up to 2-mile jogs, last 0.5 to get to 1900 for year

                        Fri - 10 miles TM in 5 2-mile jogs

                        Sat - 4.5 miles TM in 2.5- and 2-mile jogs - kicked out of gym but it was a long week anyway


                        Total - about 53 miles

                        Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)

                        2021 Goals:  Stay healthy, 40+ mpw, Half<1:30; PR or 80% age-grade at some distance


                        Mother of Cats


                          Did I see a failed sub 20 5k today ? You know this means a Lady Gaga dress up for you right 




                          Yup.  Bad race and just a no good very bad morning all around.  Did not start off 2021 on a good note.  Which may be a good thing, since I set a PR on December 31, 2019 and then it all went to hell from there.


                          Race report.


                          CK - my diet is really driven by my GI problems and my chronic migraines (which have dietary triggers).  Here's what I can't eat without bad results:


                          -honey/agave syrup

                          -quinoa and most oatmeal

                          -legumes (beans, peas, peanuts)


                          -lactose  (butter is fine, but no milk/cream)

                          -whey powder (triggers my asthma for whatever reason)



                          -artificial sweeteners

                          -fermented/moldy stuff



                 diet is pretty heavy on rice and corn, veggies, and meat (hence my love of Chipotle). If I order a drink, it's always hard liquor.  Lots of butter, lots of red meat, lots of salt (my diet is a cardiologist's nightmare, but it's greenlit by my doctors because I have low blood pressure, great cholesterol levels, and just feel better when I eat this way).


                          I eat brown rice for breakfast as a replacement for oatmeal.  My pre-race/workout breakfast, as odd as it sounds, is brown rice and hemp protein powder, sweetened with GU gel (where one would normally use honey).


                          Flavio - good luck tomorrow!

                          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


                            Darkwave - thanks for the RR, ah that loose shoe would've been annoying.  Lucky it was just a 5k!  I had what I thought was a loose lace around 2 miles into a half once.  It was fine in the end but I had WAY too much time to think about that.  Zane Robertson famously broke the NZ Marathon record on Gold Coast a couple of years ago despite having a lace that came loose halfway through (no he didn't stop to fix it).


                            Piwi - really nice week there!  Good mix of efforts too.


                            Keen - heh that's an excellent story.  I would've been highly tempted to come out with a smartass response in your position although I'm not sure it would've been the wisest course of action.


                            Steve- great pic.  I hope that niggle sorts itself out soon.  I haven't been to the West Coast in almost 20 years.


                            Flavio - good luck!


                            Mick - welcome back!  Great to see you are still around.


                            James- a solid, and very patient, week.


                            Me - This was my biggest week in 3 months and my best week in probably 4 or 5 months.  Only 5 runs but 4 with quality in them, the 2 rest days meant I was nice and fresh for the efforts.  Had a good track session on Saturday with ladder efforts building from 1600's to 400's... it felt like something really clicked on those 400's which was especially pleasing given they were the last efforts of the session.  It's nice to be feeling good out there again.


                            Weekly for period: From: 28/12/2020 To 03/01/2021

                            Date Name Distance
                            in km
                            Duration Avg Pace
                            per km
                            Elevation Gain
                            in m
                            29/12/2020 Bit faster than planned 11.06 00:43:26 03:56 82
                            30/12/2020 Fun 13.20 00:51:24 03:54 85
                            31/12/2020 4,436km and that’s it for 2020 15.01 01:08:34 04:34 169
                            02/01/2021 Starting 2021 off with a bang 15.02 00:56:23 03:45 21
                            03/01/2021 January Fog feat. the Running Bus and Jason H. 25.74 01:52:49 04:23 246

                            Total distance: 80.03km

                            5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                            HM: 1:09:41 (May-20)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                            * Net downhill course

                            Last race: Southern Lakes Half Marathon, 1 May, 1:09:41 (1st place)

                            Up next: Meridian Hydro Half Marathon (trail), 7 Aug

                            "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                            Intl. correspondent

                              Piwi - woah, pace yourself old man!

                              The 100 and the 200 are probably the only distances where couch potatoes can beat us probably.

                              It’s humbling to think a dude who spends their days eating bags of Cheetos can best you haha


                              James - You can always train by time and forget distance


                              Darkwave - I’m curious on the logic behind wearing the spring board shoes instead of flat shoes for a 5k. I’m sure you’ve written about it before but I can’t remember.

                              If I understood it correctly, the spring board shoes are an advantage on the longer races because they keep the legs fresher, they reduce the impact, while also helping to keep momentum forward.

                              But a 5k is so short and higher cadence, you’d think the flats would have an advantage there.

                              On a separate note, my wife also has some GI issues which she’s working with a nutritionist for a while to diagnose.

                              It does not seem to be as serious, but she does have some restrictions on diet, notably intolerance to gluten, dairy, anything fermented or that might ferment while being digested (like black beans).

                              It makes her life hard, but has an interesting side effect, since she’s been cooking lately it means my lunch meal is also free of those things and it might be a reason for my recent weight loss.


                              Interesting on the loose lace. My Altra shoes just fit perfectly, I tie them once when I buy them and it just stays like that forever, I never ever untie it.


                              Mark - I've found myself lately in that same funk you found yourself during marathon training. Just feeling so tired. That's one of the reasons for the down week and the time trial, see if I can create a dip and rebound from it.


                              My week below, followed by the race report:

                              Weekly for period: From: 28/12/2020 To 03/01/2021

                              Date Name Distance
                              in km
                              Duration Avg Pace
                              per km
                              Elevation Gain
                              in m
                              28/12/2020 Morning Run 9.64 00:50:02 05:11 51
                              29/12/2020 6x (1'30I 2'E) avg 3:35/km 12.13 01:00:01 04:57 45
                              31/12/2020 Morning Run 5.49 00:30:00 05:28 31
                              01/01/2021 It's taper time! Happy 2021 y'all 💰🎉💪 6.31 00:30:03 04:46 31
                              03/01/2021 Warm up 2.85 00:15:25 05:25 6
                              03/01/2021 5k time trial - 18:13 - not my day 😐 5.01 00:18:13 03:38 6
                              03/01/2021 Cool down 1.63 00:09:01 05:32 1

                              Total distance: 43.07km



                              Race Report

                              I've been training for this 5k time trial since November 1st, the last 5k time trial where I failed spectacularly, together with quitting at 4K because it wasn't going to be a PR.

                              I wanted to run another 5k time trial, even if only to run to the end and erase that memory.

                              I was doing the workouts from the Hansons advanced half marathon plan. That plan has quite a few vo2max workouts on Tuesdays on all the first few weeks. I figured I'd gain some fitness while doing those workouts and capitalize on it.

                              Unfortunately the increase in weekly mileage left me way more tired than usual. I was really needing a break and a smaller training week leading to a time trial would be a good thing.

                              Such sharp taper has proven not to be sufficient though as I was not as bouncy as I feel before most of my PRs. I probably needed a longer taper to arrive at race day more refreshed.

                              The course would be laps around a local park. Roughly 1.25km each lap, so 4 laps would do the trick. I debated going very early to avoid the dogs of the leash, but that would risk running in a not so well lit path for part of the lap. Eventually I made the poor decision of going later.

                              I did roughly 15 minutes of warm up, that's more than enough for me as I don't usually need much of a warmup and if I warm up any longer I might get tired from the warm up and detract from the race.

                              The plan is the same as always. Go out in PR pace and either break the PR for a glorious day, or fade horribly.

                              I then stopped the watch and positioned myself at the "start line". I wanted my heart rate to go down a bit to simulate race day. Then I set the watch on the clock page and waited the last 40 seconds until it was 7:41, also to simulate race day.

                              Off I go as I wait a bit to check the clock. It's floating between 3:25 and 3:30 per km and I know that's too fast. I concentrate on slowing down just a tiny bit and it works as I cross the 1km mark in 3:32. That's a bit fast but okay.

                              As I'm coming around to close the 1st lap I realize there's a pack of around 6 or 7 dogs off the leash on the path further ahead. Along with their brainless owners (May they please choke to death on a strip of bacon). I have to do a slight detour which involves poor footing on a 90 degree bend. Not too bad so far.

                              I hit 2K in 3:34, 7:06 overall and feeling good so far.

                              For the 3rd KM I realize a bit too late that I won't again be able to do my lap as those damn dogs are still there blocking the path, so I need to do a u-turn and go back on that detour from the first lap. A bit later the 3K mark is hit in 3:41, 10:47 overall.

                              The race is ON. I'm just ONE second ahead of pace and already fading. It's going to be hard!

                              The 4th km is always the hardest one. It's nowhere land. You don't see the finish line and the lack of oxygen is getting to you in exponential levels. I realize I can't keep the same cadence. My lower back is not feeling as strong to project me forward. I seem to be losing pace but just can't get out of it.

                              At least those dogs are no longer there and I can finally run a lap like it was supposed to be.

                              4K is hit in 3:44 and the dream is GONE. 14:31 is the total total and I need a 3:28 final lap (sub 3k pace) to hit sub 18, or 3:31 to hit a PR.

                              I have only one thought at this point. I will run it to the end, no matter what. It's not going to be a PR but if I don't finish I will have no gauge on my current fitness and I need that.

                              As I enter the final lap I'm already fading badly, but I just try to drive forward. At this point it feels like I'm driving myself forward with my arms as the lower back can only barely keep the pace. Forward, forward, keep the cadence, forward forward!

                              As I make the turn to the final straight into the "finish line", those damn dogs are back so I have to do yet another detour and move the "finish line" to the opposite direction.

                              I finally glance at the clock and it's 100 to go. Sprint, sprint sprint is all I can think.

                              I seem to really sprint it a bit as I can manage a slightly faster last Km in 3:42.

                              Total time is a (for today) depressing 18:13, which I'll probably relish in a few years' time.

                              In conclusion, for the next 5K I need a longer taper to arrive fully rested at race day, and I need to figure out better how to peak at the right time.

                              It felt as if I was peaking 3 or 4 weeks ago. Maybe I need shorter training blocks.

                              Going forward theoretically a few more weeks of training with tons of 10k paced workouts and then maybe a 10k time trial.

                              PRs: 5K 17:56.7 (2021) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:21:59 (2021)

                              Up next: 3 countries marathon - Oct 10th

                              Tool to generate Strava weekly


                                Keen - the games have been fun but I need to refine how I play correspondence. Some of my moves have been really bad lately with some blindingly obvious smackdowns deservedly coming back my way. One can never have too many goals but I think playing fewer games and playing them at aa higher quality seems a good 2021 chess goal (sorry for polluting this running thread).


                                I'm always amused to hear about how southern areas deal with snow but good for you for running in it!


                                James -  I hadn't realized 2020 was such a nice step forward in mileage for you. Hopefully that hammy clears up quick so you can take advantage of that base.


                                Piwi - Please spare me the NBA talk. I was so happy to see Wiggins gone from my favorite team (that might be the first time I've hated a Canadian) but wow Russell is just not a fun player to watch. No effort on D, only hunts his own shots on O and can't get to the rim. bleh. How is Valerie's brother faring? Huge week!


                                Steve -  exact same sentiments as with James. Great year, I hope the knee clears up. Sharp pains are scary. Great photo.


                                Mark  solid week


                                Mick - Welcome! Good luck chasing 100 minutes.


                                FLavio & DWave -  tough races. DWave, do you often race people or the clock? Just wondering about your tactic of letting the other lady take the lead and do the work. Flavio, condolences about the dogs and I can empathize with starting too fast.

                                1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 45:24 (2017), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Mary - 3:37:17 (2018)